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The Koran is NOT a medical text.

February 8, 2010

For Pete’s sake.

The International Journal of Cardiology is publishing a review article entitled “The heart and cardiovascular system in the Qur’an and Hadeeth” by Marios Loukas and Yousuf Saad of the Department of Anatomical Sciences, St. George’s University, School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies, R. Shane Tubbs  of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Birmingham, AL, and Mohamadali M. Shoja of Clarian Neuroscience Institute, Indianapolis Neurosurgical Group, Indiana University Department of Neurosurgery, Indianapolis, IN.

For those who don’t know, a review article is typically an article which reviews all of the medical literature to date on a specific topic.  This article is more of an historical perspective or a liberal arts essay on a medically related topic.  The Koran is NOT a medical text.  It is a religious text.  It is not based on research.  It is based on myth.

These authors seem to have created a cottage industry of essays on historical theories of medicine (including 10 accepted by the Int J Cardiol).  How are they getting so many of these published?  The article linked above was accepted five days after it was received.  That’s not SOP for journals.

Their next article is “Illustration of the heart and blood vessels in medieval times” by Majid Khalili, Mohammadali M. Shoja, R. Shane Tubbs, Marios Loukas, Farid Alakbarli and Andrew J. Newman.

Abstract:  Throughout history, illustrations had played a key role in the promotion and evolution of medicine by providing a medium for transmission of scientific observations. Due to religious prohibitions, color drawings of the human body did not appear in medieval Persia and during the Islamic Golden Age. This tradition, however, has been overlooked with the publication of the first color atlas and text of human anatomy, Tashrihi Mansuri (Mansur’s Anatomy), by Mansur ibn Ilyas in the fourteenth century AD. Written in Persian and containing several vivid illustrations of the human body, this book gained widespread attention by both scholars and lay persons. In this article, a brief history of Mansur’s Anatomy and an English translation of selected sections from this book regarding the heart and blood vessels are presented.

What’s the end game?  Promotion of a Muslim-centered history of medicine?  Seems so.  I’m disgusted that a medical journal would print religious propaganda.  How can they use a religious text as proof?  I wouldn’t even let BIO 100 students get away with that nonsense.

I’m still reading the actual paper on the heart in the Koran.  The authors make a stab at being inclusive (and to distract from their Islamcentric POV) by mentioning the Bible, the Torah, etc.   This doesn’t mitigate anything.  The Bible is not a medical text.  The Torah is not a medical text.  Religious stories are not scientific literature.

Heh.  I don’t even need to dissect this paper.  Dr. Avijit Roy has already done an excellent job in a letter to the editors of the journal. Bravo!

Our scientific knowledge has moved beyond childhood. A scientific journal should not depend on imaginary fairy-tales or a ‘God in gaps’ to provide for our explanations or needs. Science proposes explanations about the natural world and then puts those hypothesis for repeated testing using experiments, observations and a creative and diverse array of other methods and strategies. The paper like ‘The heart and cardiovascular system in the Qur’an and Hadeeth’ , on the other hand, discourage skepticism or critical examination of cherished precepts.It is simply laughable that a reputable science journal of twentieth century would publish such a poorly argued paper – ‘The heart and cardiovascular system in the Qur’an and Hadeeth’! I sincerely believe, if you publish the article in your journal, you will loose all the credibility. I hope that your consciousness will return and your editorial board will realize that this paper is not worthy at all for publication.

Dr. Avijit Roy

Maybe, just maybe, the editors of the journal will reconsider before this joke of a “medical review” is actually published in the hard copy of the journal.  So far, it is only online.

Hmmm.  This is curious.  Elsevier, the publisher of the International Journal of Cardiology, has been known to create fake journals as advertisements for corporate sponsors.  Does anyone know if their cardiology journal is highly respected?  Or is it one of those journals which has rather low standards?  I’ll try to find out more.

h/t Panda’s Thumb

One Comment leave one →
  1. Asrar Elahi permalink
    October 1, 2011 7:39 pm

    and i am not surprised at all that you find Quran funny and misleading especially scientifically.
    Reasons for this is:
    1. you read the traslation of Quran. not the Quran itself. problems with translations is that every translator translates the word how he perceives it. some words can have more than 300 meanings others more than 700.
    2. even when a muslim reads the Quran, he can be misguided if he does not get proper guidance. that is why a muslim is also recommended to Read the Quran not only with translation but also its Tafseer (elaboration). and even there are so many tafseers available. so best is to go to an Aalim (one who has knowledge) and ask him directly. as i would recommend you Dr. Zakir Naik from india. he is an MBBS doctor. he will surely clear your scientific doubts about islam, Quran and Hadith.
    But that is if you REALLY want to find the Truth and eradicate your doubts. you may find Dr Zakir Naik on peace tv. or visit his sites.

    may you find the Truth you are looking for…

    Asrar Elahi

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